Goals – Part I of II: Are You On Track? Reviewing your 2015 Resolutions.
Do any of you watch Family Guy? There’s this episode where Brian writes a book titled Wish It. Want It. Do It. (available on Amazon, by the way – please DON’T buy it!). Brian writes this book to poke-fun at self-help books in general, and then watches it climb to #3 on the Amazon Bestsellers List. The key to the book is fifty blank pages in the middle that allow the reader to lay out his or her own goals and a plan to achieve them. While the book is total farce, the idea that you don’t just make a goal, but also set a plan is incredibly valuable.
Which brings me to asking: How are you doing on your 2015 resolutions? Were you a gung-ho resolutionary a month ago, determined – list in hand – to complete a series of tasks by the end of this year? Has that resolve fizzled? As we come to the end of January, it’s time to take a look back at the goals you set a month ago. Even if you’ve slipped, you can still dust off your knees and climb back on the proverbial wagon.
Setting SMART Goals
Personally, I set my goals for 2015 last November – and I started working on them. Weird, right? Eight weeks out from 2015 and I was already deciding where I wanted to be by the end of this year. Let me tell you a secret: You can set goals at any time, and I personally find that intentional goal setting is much more valuable than hurried end-of-year resolutions.
So, let’s take a look. Pull out that list. What goals did you set for this year? Are they reasonable? It is critical to your success that your goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Bound.
Are you actually interested in going to the gym? You don’t have to be. Even better, take out a clean sheet of paper and think right now, one month into 2015, what you want to accomplish by the end of the next month, this year, and further. Do you have some big goals that need to be portioned into bite size pieces? Think about your career, your personal life, your mental and physical health, and anything else that is important to YOU. Be intentional.
Once you’ve gotten some idea down you don’t have to shout them to the world. A good rule of thumb is to wait three months after setting a goal and starting to make changes before you tell other people about it. That said, it IS important to have a support system. Figure out who those people will be – your biggest cheerleaders – and ask them to hold you accountable for what you are trying to accomplish. Why wait three months? Because it takes that long for you to get in the groove of something new – it takes three months to build or break a habit.
You don’t have to set any new goals right this moment, but when the time is right for you, pull out that old list and reevaluate the SMART-ness of your New Year’s resolutions, and then pull out a clean sheet and begin again, deliberately. Keep in mind what my Twitter friend James Clear reminds me from time to time: Successful people start before they feel ready. It is okay to be afraid of the goals you set. Push yourself! Try something new! Go somewhere you’ve only dreamed of!
If you need some inspiration to get started, check out the career goals for 2015 of some successful and upcoming entrepreneurs.